LINGUIST List 10.1917

Sun Dec 12 1999

Sum: for Query:10.1728 Do Support,Adjectives,Verbs

Editor for this issue: James Yuells <>


  1. dave gough, for Query:10.1728 Do Support & Adjectives And Verbs

Message 1: for Query:10.1728 Do Support & Adjectives And Verbs

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 21:45:00 +0200
From: dave gough <>
Subject: for Query:10.1728 Do Support & Adjectives And Verbs

I asked a few questions regarding adjectives:
- similarities in morphology across adjectives and (stative) verbs
- the 'behaviour' of codemixed adjectives
- the presence of a 'do' support strategy in the negative of predicate


The one question I had concerned languages which showed similarities in the
morphology for adjectives and verbs where these are otherwise distinct

1. Hebrew - the present tense looks remarkably like adjectives as the verbs
are inflected for number and gender, NOT for person. Adjectives and verbs
are otherwise distinct classes; this can be seen by putting
the sentences in the past or future tenses.

2. Japanese and Tibetan are two languages that have partly overlapping
morphology for verbs and adjectives. Japanese adjectives take much of the
same tense marking as verbs do (samu-i 'is cold' -- samu-katta 'was cold'
etc.). Some Tibetan etymological adjectives have limited verbal
morphology too ('di pagi las che-gi red [di phgi lEE chigi rEE] this that
than big-PRES/FUT AUX 'this is bigger than that' shows the present-future
verbal suffix -gi and the auxiliary verb red (a predicative verb), like
a full verbal phrase as in dering morang-gis bagleb za-gi red [the_ring
morang-gi pha_lee s_gi rEE] today she-ERG bread eat-PRES/FUT AUX 'she
is going to eat bread today'.

3. Choctaw and most of the Salishan languages, all North American,
haveidentical morphology for verbs and adjectives at both the functional and
lexical level.

4. In Malay, there are many cases of ADJ & VERB mophology forms are
identical. 2 types of malay morpho forms are related to this : BER- and
ME-KAN , other forms exists too like ME-

MEYAKINKAN (root-YAKIN, often preceeded by YANG, relativiser)
1. "Bukti-bukti yang meyakinkan itu dibentangkan" (adj=convincing "the
convincing evidence are brought forward")
2. "Dia meyakinkan saya." (v=convinced "he convinced me.")

You can intensify the form in 1 with SANGAT (like english VERY) without
altering the morphology, but not for 2.


Here I was interested whether some languages treat borrowed adjectives
unlike native

1) English adjectives insert easily, by way of code switching, into a
German NP without even a trace of the
agreement morphology that would have to appear on native ones.
2) A whole class of adstrate/superstrate/neighboring-language lexemes may
notqualify as potential loans with a language that otherwise borrows heavily
to the point of potential adoption of any (other) majority- language item:
Basque has countless Romance origin nouns & verbs but strikingly few Romance
adjectives, probably(?) because it does not have an adjectival class similar
enough in morphosyntactic behavior to that of Romance & other IE lgs.
Exceptions have in common what _looks like_ but need not in fact be a native
early-loan morphological structure, as _altu_ \"high\" or
Latinisms/Hispanisms in -al and -ar.
3) Quebec French borrowed the English word 'fun', and treats it like an
adjective, except it requires the use of the (masculine) definite article,in
contradistinction to native adjectives: compare:

-C'EST VRAIMENT LE FUN! "it's really fun!"versus C'EST VRAIMENT BEAU!
"it's really beautiful".

Other borrowed English adjectives do not behave thus, however: few English
adjectives have been borrowed into Quebec French, but one other, WEIRDO,
does not require the article and behaves like a native adjective.
4) With almost no exceptions, all borrowed adjectives in Japanese, whether
from Chinese, eg kirei (pretty), or Western languages, eg modan (modern)
conjugate differently to normal adjectives, taking na when modifying a noun
and a copula when being used as a predicate (whereas almost all native
adj.take -i and behave grammatically as stative verbs).

Eg: atarashi-i hon, old book
 hon ga atarashi-i, the book is old (book SUBJ old)
 kirei na hon, pretty book
 hon ga kirei da, the book is pretty (book SUBJ pretty COPULA)

Unfortunately, a few native adjectives do the same, eg arata (fresh).
Originally, all na adjetives were nouns, and na is an otherwise obsolete


Are there languages that specifically require the equivalent of 'do' support
in forming negative predicative adjectives.

1. In Finnish, and possibly other Uralic languages, the negative is formed
with a dummy verb e- which takes the personal suffixes and tense; thus eg.
ole-n = I am, e-n ole = I am not

2. Possibly Korean.

D. Some references given:

1996. Shahrzad Mahootian and Beatrice Santorini. \"Code switching and the
complement/adjunct distinction.\"
Linguistic inquiry 27, 464-479.

1995. Beatrice Santorini and Shahrzad Mahootian. \"Codeswitching and the
syntactic status of adnominal
adjectives.\" Lingua 95, 1-27.

Meechan, M. and S. Poplack (1995) Orphan categories in bilingual discourse:
Adjectivization strategies in Wolof-French and Fongbe-French. Language
Variation and Change 7: 169-194.


Christian Duetschmann
Marjory Meechan
Lameen Souag
Chungmin Lee
Dafna Graf
Johannes Reese
Chungmin Lee
Marcia Haag
Mahani Aljunied
Stephen McCabe
William Morris
Stephane Goyette
Chris Beckwith
Gilles Bernard
Xu Hui Ling
Koontz John E
Keiko Unedaya


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